Experiencing discrimination in the workplace or when applying for an open position is unfair and frustrating when you have worked hard and are qualified for a job. Although there are some overt instances of discrimination against employees, proving discrimination is difficult and often not straightforward. At Aarons Ward, our Los Angeles discrimination lawyers have assisted employees in many areas of Southern California, such as Encino, Glendale, Burbank, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, and the Greater Los Angeles Area. If you have suffered from discrimination, it is important to know that you have rights to assert and to seek guidance from an employment attorney without delay.Recognizing Forms of Employment Discrimination
Under various federal and California laws, employers are prohibited from engaging in a wide variety of discriminatory acts in the workplace. These include pregnancy discrimination, disability discrimination, and discrimination based on sexual identity or gender expression. Employers are also precluded from discriminating based on several recognized characteristics, including race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, age, and marital status.
Courts have recognized that this type of discrimination may arise in multiple ways. Disparate treatment, for example, occurs when an employer takes actions that single out an employee based on a protected characteristic or their membership in a protected class. Disparate impact, on the other hand, occurs when an employer’s policies have a disproportionately adverse impact on a protected group, such as senior employees or women who become pregnant.Bringing a Workplace Discrimination Claim
One of the most important aspects of asserting your rights involves understanding how to initiate a claim. At the federal level, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) handles allegations of discrimination. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) oversees claims brought under California law. If an employee, whether current or former, believes that they were subjected to discrimination, they may contact either or both of these agencies to file a claim. Our discrimination attorneys can help Los Angeles area residents with this process from the outset.
The EEOC has discretion to bring a civil lawsuit against an employer if it finds that this is appropriate based on the results of its investigation. DFEH, meanwhile, may bring a claim before the Fair Employment and Housing Council. In most cases, federal law requires an employee to submit a claim to the EEOC within 180 days from the date that the alleged discrimination took place. California, on the other hand, allows an aggrieved employee one year to bring a claim before the DFEH. It is important to be aware that, even if the agency declines to pursue your claim, you still may have a viable case. The agency will notify you of your right to sue, and you then will be able to file a lawsuit in the appropriate court.Consult an Aggressive Discrimination Lawyer in the Los Angeles Area
At Aarons Ward, we focus our practice on advocating for Southern California employees who have been mistreated in the workplace, including people who have suffered from discrimination. Serving residents of Encino, Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills, Glendale, and Burbank, among other cities, our Los Angeles discrimination attorneys provide a free consultation to help you learn more about your rights and how we may be able to assist you. Call us at 818-794-7100 or contact us online to set up your appointment. We also are available if you need a wrongful termination attorney or assistance with another type of employment claim.